Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Farewell Snow

This last weekend was a pretty fun one! We started it off by hanging out with our new growth group on Friday night while volunteering at the church for a ministry called "Feed My Starving Children". This organization sets up stations for volunteers to come and put together food packages to send to third world countries. During the weekend, our church made over 200,000 packaged meals which will serve 566 kids for a year! Afterwards, our group went to McDonald's...the one in Naperville with a ginormous play area because we are one of only a few couples in our group that do not have kids. Then, we came home, called the Quinns and went to their place to watch the movie The Departed. Oh wow... what a surprising movie.

Then we completed our normal Saturday morning routine which consists of sleeping in, working out, and cleaning. Although, I didn't actually finish cleaning because lunch time creeped up on us and right afterwards we decided we needed to get out of our hibernation mode and go sledding! We stopped at Walmart, bought the cheapest saucers in stock, and once again called the Quinns. So the four of us started at a popular neighborhood sledding spot. After clobbering a few 5 and 6 year olds on our sleds, we decided we better find a new hill. We packed in our little golf cart (VW jetta wagon) and took off to find ourselves a mountain. Well, we found our mountain, but didn't have the $3/person cash on us to rent the tubes to go down it! We didn't give up and instead parked the car, walked across the frozen lake and to a secluded hill. After a few times down, others followed and before long the hill was packed with sledders so again it was time for us to leave. But, this time, we were frozen, fulfilled and basically out of breath so we headed home.

The Quinns
We dropped off the Quinns and got home just in time to clean up and go to the movies with the Beales. Breach was the movie of the night. My very quick review... Knowing it was a true story made it a great movie for me. Afterwards, we hit up Chili's and then headed to bed to get some good rest before the 8:45 am church service the next day.

So Sunday was church, then lunch with the Quinns and dinner at our Sunday School teacher's home with some other new couples in the church, along with the pastor and his wife. We were able to get to know some neat people that night and really enjoyed ourselves.

Now it is Tuesday and we are watching American Idol. Chris Sligh (our fave) performed a few contestants ago. Simon wasn't too thrilled with his performance, but Randy and Paula loved it. I think he's going to go pretty far in the competition. In fact, there are many polls out there that are choosing him as the winner!

The snow is melting away. It is finally warming up here... to the 30s and 40s. I'll take it!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Valentine

Ben, of course, is my valentine. What gift do you give Ben that makes him the happiest? Sweets obviously! So I made him the pictured valentines dessert (directions on my food blog) from leftover chocolate and oreos I had from the truffles. :) Then sprinkled it with powdered sugar...and gave him a card with loving words written inside.

We decided to do an inexpensive valentines this year. To me, that means make him something. To him, that means get me nothing. Although, I'll spare you the details of my frustration and crying (why must I be a woman?) and let you know that the next day he did make me a card. It included a cut-out of Ben's twin, football player Ben Rothlesburger (sp?) telling me he loves me. I gathered that meant Ben Gladd loves me, too. :) Vday...just a day to make women become even more critical of their husbands. Poor guys.

Even so, I'm expecting next year's Valentines to be much more exciting. But, I have 362 or so more days to find out!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Adventures in Babysitting

Babysitting--I'm not really sure how it's supposed to go. Do I run to Toys-R-Us and garner every conceivable lego? I don't know. But after babysitting twice, I now have everything under control, or to put it another way, I have control of the tv. Much like a covenant, the tv can be a blessing and a curse: keeping a child under hypnosis--blessing; increasing the number of days until graduation--curse.

Speaking of blessings, here in Chicago we have been graced with another snow storm. Personally, I love the snow. I just hate it when my go cart, VW Jetta, slides through intersections. Not only does my car slide, but my leather seats are frozen like a popsicle. So Nikki and I decided to take Micah, the boy we are babysitting, outside for a "treat."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

New Food Blog

Hey everyone! I started a food blog! It's dangerous, I know, to try to keep up with TWO blogs, but I think the food one will be fun...since it is more of a hobby for me. Ben really encouraged me to start one, so I told him that he will need to make more of an effort to post on this blog so I'm not working double-duty! ha!

The food blog will include pictures of food I've prepared, discussions of restaurant reviews, and any other things that come to mind that may include my favorite past time...FOOD! I definitely married the right guy, too, since food is also his fave!

Since we are on a tight budget while Ben is in school, and have many friends that are also in a similar financial position, I will focus on food that can be made at a cheap price. Therefore, I titled the new blog Pennies on a Platter. Hopefully... we will be able to share penny saving ideas with big money taste!

You can find the link to my new food blog here:

It is also listed on my side bar to this blog page.

I hope you enjoy it! Make sure to leave me comments with your food ideas and restaurants reviews!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Snow Birds

We want to be snow birds this winter. Meaning, we want to migrate to the south, to the warm weather, away from this bitterly cold windy city. My grandparents do it, so why can't we? Maybe we should go stay with them in the southern tip of Florida. Grandma? Would you mind?

It has just been so cold! The other day on my way to work it was -10 degrees!!! Yikes! Emily and Aaron, I bet you are not missing Chicago one bit this time of year. Lucky are you to be in sunny California! To my friends in Nashville... you might be a little cold, but you can never know the depths of it until you come visit us in the dead of the winter. Except for Kristin...since she is an original Michigander. Mom and Dad Knapp, you may think you are worse off because you have the cold temps along with the layers of snow...but, well...yes, I guess you are worse off! Mom and Dad Gladd, I don't even know what the weather is there! I bet it's a bit cold. Chris and Vicki - oh I'm so glad you made it home safely in the snow you had!

So that is my evaluation of the weather. I'm sitting on the sofa every night with a big fluffy blanket that keeps me warm while I surf the Internet and check my email...and of course, watch American Idol. Ben has been sucking down the hot cocoa his Aunt Maryann bought us for Christmas. He's addicted. Probably has about 3 glasses a day! There are three different flavors... white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.

Tonight we are attending our first small group gathering at our new church. We're excited because this group consists of quite a few fun young couples. They are reading a book and discuss it each week. I'm not sure what the book's title is, but this week is about "Sin and the Promise of Grace". The chapter discusses how grace goes right along with sin because grace is needed for someone to open up about their sins. If the individual does not feel like his friends/family will show grace towards him when he reveals his sins, then he is more likely to hide his sins. Conversely, if he knows his friends or family are loving and will show him grace no matter his faults, he will be more apt to share his struggles and accept their help for battling through it.

This reminds me that we should be mindful of showing our love and willingness to accept our friends' and family's faults. We can not be judging of others, for judgment belongs to only One in His own time. If we judge, we will shut those out that are seeking a brother or sister to help them through their trials. My prayer today is that I may be more loving and less judging.

We need to leave now for small group. Exciting news... it's supposed to warm up tomorrow to high of 20 degrees!! More later!

How Many Since 3/19/07?